Zamtel, NEC seal $18m deal

ZAMTEL and NEC Corporation, a global telecommunications equipment manufacturer have agreed to build a new digital microwave radio transmission network at a cost of over US$18.3 million.
The investment in mobile service provider’s transmission infrastructure aims to modernise the company’s digital microwave transmission backbone network to meet current and foreseeable future growth in mobile data demand, while supporting the company’s Long-Term Evolution rollout plan.
Zamtel chief Executive Officer, Mupanga Mwanakatwe said the pact will help boost mobile coverage and capacity for citizens, enterprises and tourists across the country.
“This partnership will see NEC design, manufacture, supply, deliver, install, test, migrate and commission a native Ethernet microwave backbone and access radios specifically tailored to Zamtel’s requirements,” Dr Mwanakatwe said.
“The deal, which includes the supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of NEC’s microwave transmission network equipment, is expected to be completed within 12 months and will cost US$18,329,326,” Dr Mwankatwe said at a joint press briefing in Lusaka yesterday.
He said NEC will upgrade Zamtel’s existing backbone and access systems and commission new links to connect its base stations and core network wirelessly.
Dr Mwanakatwe said the new digital microwave backbone and access project will include the installation of 2Gbps, 600Mbps, 300Mbps and 150Mbps backbone and access networks based on native Ethernet microwave radio network technologies.
He said on completion, the investment will lead to the realisation of a state-of-the-art national IP microwave backbone and access network.
Speaking at the same event, NEC corporation president Nobuhiro Endo said NEC’s highly reliable and cost-effective solution will enable Zamtel to support continued economic growth and underpin emerging services, such as mobile money and high definition mobile TV, in both rural and urban locations.
“By boosting the coverage and capacity of its wireless backhaul network, Zamtel will be able to meet the ever rising demand for mobile broadband services,” Dr Endo said.

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